The Essence of OSS (Osu) in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: An Expression of Martial Arts Spirit

Introduction: In the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), there is a unique term that permeates the mats, spoken by practitioners from all walks of life: OSS, or sometimes written as “Osu.” Although its meaning may seem elusive to outsiders, OSS carries profound significance within the BJJ community. As a martial arts expert and a devotee of BJJ, I aim to shed light on the essence of OSS, its cultural origins, and its transformative power in the realm of martial arts.

Understanding OSS:

OSS, primarily used in BJJ, is a term borrowed from the Japanese martial arts. While its literal translation might not reveal much, OSS represents a multifaceted concept that encompasses discipline, respect, perseverance, and unity. It serves as a verbal acknowledgment of camaraderie, embodying the spirit of martial arts on and off the mat.

Originating from the word “Oshi Shinobu,” meaning to persevere through hardship, OSS encapsulates the warrior’s mindset. In BJJ, it stands as a symbol of overcoming adversity, pushing through physical and mental challenges, and embracing the relentless pursuit of improvement.

The Power of OSS in BJJ:

In BJJ academies worldwide, the frequent use of OSS creates a unique atmosphere where practitioners bond and motivate each other. When uttered, it acts as a form of encouragement, reminding individuals to remain focused, resilient, and humble. OSS symbolizes the shared journey of practitioners and the acknowledgment that progress is made through both triumphs and setbacks.

Furthermore, OSS instills a deep sense of respect and gratitude among practitioners. It signifies recognition for training partners, instructors, and the art itself. By saying OSS, one acknowledges the mutual growth and shared experiences within the BJJ community.

Beyond the physical aspects, OSS cultivates mental fortitude. It serves as a reminder to persevere during demanding training sessions, to stay composed in high-pressure situations, and to approach challenges with a resilient mindset. OSS embodies the indomitable spirit required to succeed not just in BJJ but in life as well.

OSS as a Lifestyle:

OSS extends beyond the confines of the gym or the competition mat. It serves as a way of life for practitioners, carrying its principles into their daily interactions. The values associated with OSS, such as respect, humility, and discipline, become ingrained in the fabric of their character, shaping their actions and attitudes.

By embracing the spirit of OSS, BJJ practitioners learn to appreciate the importance of continual growth, both personally and within the community. It fosters a sense of unity and mutual support among practitioners, fostering an environment of encouragement rather than rivalry.


OSS, or Osu, in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu encapsulates the spirit of martial arts and represents a profound ethos within the BJJ community. It signifies perseverance, discipline, respect, and unity, transcending beyond the physical techniques practiced on the mats. Uttered by practitioners worldwide, OSS serves as a constant reminder to remain focused, resilient, and humble in the face of challenges. It is a testament to the transformative power of martial arts and its ability to shape individuals into not only skilled fighters but also well-rounded, honorable human beings.